Malaysia welcomes almost 25 million tourists annually, and for good reason – our colourful, multi-cultural and multi-religious nation is a multi-faceted gem that lures as much with her quiet graces and natural attractions as her wild, crazy ones. Visit Malaysia Year is septennial event. Last year Visit Malaysia Year 2014 attracted more than 28 million visitors.
"To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia" and 7.4 million tourists.
With that unforgettable song, Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) was first launched in 1990 with the theme "Fascinating Malaysia. Year of Festivals". The campaign was a huge success with Malaysia charting 7.4 million in tourist arrivals compared to 4.8 million in 1989. To enable tourists to easily recognize Malaysia, the orang utan, the endangered species found in East Malaysia was used as a mascot and it was named Wira. Apart from it, Kuala Lumpur’s famous landmark, Sultan Abdul Samad building was featured as the official Visit Malaysia Year 1990 logo. Malaysia’s Independence Day on August 31 was the anchor for 84 major events, 14 festivals and nine exhibitions during VMY 1990.
"Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia" with more than 28 million tourists
"Fascinating Malaysia. Naturally More" with 10.22 million in tourist arrivals.
The success of VMY 1990 spurred another VMY in 1994. This time around, the theme was "Fascinating Malaysia. Naturally More". VMY 1994 maintained its words "Fascinating Malaysia" for the theme but injected a punch line "Naturally More" to reflect more exciting things and events lined up for that year.
"Malaysia Truly Asia" and 20.97 million in tourist arrivals
The third VMY was launched in 2007 in conjunction with Malaysia’s 50th Independence Anniversary. Hence, the theme "Celebrating 50 years of Nationhood" was most befitting to reflect this important anniversary celebration. Efforts were also intensified in all advertising and promotional activities, including the call for action "The time is now. The place is Malaysia" together with its successful and impactful slogan "Malaysia Truly Asia". In line with the 50th Independence Anniversary, over 200 events across the country with 50 major events were held to showcase Malaysia’s wealth of tourism attractions. All in all, VMY 2007 charted a tremendous success beyond expectations with 20.97 million in tourist arrivals and RM46.1 billion in tourist receipts. This means a rise of 3.42 million and RM9.8 billion from the previous year.
In 2014, Malaysia celebrated its fourth Visit Malaysia Year with the theme "Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia" to reflect the diversity in unity of all Malaysians. The Proboscis Monkey had been chosen as the mascot while the promotional campaign has started in 2013 with a series of year-long special events and activities leading to VMY 2014.